The day has finally arrived. Today marks the last day of a trip that started 3 years and 5 months ago when I set off from my home in Florida. During that time I managed to make my way up to the great state of Alaska, down to Mexico, through every county in Central America, into Colombia and then along the Andes mountain range until finally reaching Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. After that it was up to Western Europe for more riding around the Netherlands, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and finally Ireland. In all I managed to cross through 24 countries on 3 different continents racking up 28,454 miles (45,792 km).

Throughout my journey I went back and noted some of the more memorable highlights however these pages don’t even begin to capture the enormous range of feelings I had as a bicycle tourist traveling through so many different countries and environments. I can’t put into words what it’s like seeing killer whales leaping out of the water, hearing glaciers calving, seeing volcanoes erupt, riding through a city with more than 20 million people living in it, walking amongst thousands of penguins, staying in villages so remote that I was quite possibly the first foreigner they’ve ever seen or spoken to, standing in the ruins of entire towns where tens of thousands of people died in landslides/floods/volcanic eruptions, seeing small children begging for change, seeing a grizzly bear playing with her cubs, seeing entire villages forced to live in tiny shacks on the side of a raised dirt road because their homes are flooded, having three guys try to rob me of everything I own, being waved at dozens of times per day by people living in what I’d been told was one of the most dangerous countries in the world, having these same people stop and offer me food, water and places to sleep, riding a bicycle up and over one of the highest passes in the world, having someone from one of the poorest areas in the western hemisphere bring a plate of hot food to my tent just to make me feel welcome, desperately trying to hold my tent up from the inside during a storm in tornado alley, getting chased by hundreds of stupid dogs and nearly getting hypothermia. The list is endless.

So why am I stopping? It wasn’t that long ago that I’d planned on continuing my trip through Europe, Russia, the Middle East and North Africa for at least two more years. I had my route all planned out, a fancy spreadsheet showing over a dozen different considerations for traveling in each country, the funds to make it happen, a fully functional bicycle and physically I was (and still am) at 100%.

I’m stopping for two reasons. The first is that I had to see about a girl. :) As things tend to happen, sometimes when you least expect it, I just fell head over heels for this incredible woman whom I’ve known for many years but only just recently came to appreciate for the truly remarkable person that she is. There’s no way I can let her get away. When it came time to decide how I wanted to spend the coming years it was a very easy decision.

The second reason would most likely have had me thinking about stopping within a month or two. I’ve seen so many amazing things in the last few years and have a huge appreciation for this planet and everything on it. Seeing the damage we’ve caused day after day, mile after mile through every single country I’ve ridden through is incredibly disheartening. Some people might argue that it’s not that bad and blah, blah, blah. It is that bad. When you are riding a bicycle through it for nearly 30,000 miles you see it, you taste it, you smell it and you hear it. There’s absolutely zero doubt in my mind that we aren’t systematically wiping out every other living thing on this planet and the thought of seeing more of it for another two years isn’t that appealing.

Sure I could jump ahead to more “pristine” areas but if I wanted to skip over things I’d just go on a cruise. So for now it’s back to Florida where I’ll work on building a new, more subdued life because if I’ve learned anything from the past 3 years it’s that everything is connected. I know I don’t need a bunch of things to feel safe or successful. I’ve also seen what it takes to support the developed world and what effect this has on the people forced to live in areas being exploited for production material.

Dear old Koga 3.0 will be relegated to just shuttling me back and forth from the grocery store instead of through strange and exotic lands.

To all my family, friends, admirers, supporters, teachers, hosts and would-be robbers: truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for making me a better person. To all the dogs: suck it. :)

Enjoying the view

Enjoying the view

21 Responses to “End of the Road”
  1. Aunt Lynn says:

    As I sit here typing this I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. There are no words to describe how proud everyone is of you. When you first started out we all thought you were crazy. LOL But everytime I would come to this blog and read about your experiences, see the most beautiful photographs ever and feel the excitement in your words it brought joy in my heart for you. You have done such an awesome job on this blog. What will your followers do now? You have accomplished more in the past few years than most do in a lifetime. My fear is what is next on your bucket list. :) The young lady you speak of must be really really special and she is very lucky. I hope that your future brings many years of happiness. Congrats to you Scott!

  2. Cindy says:

    What an amazing trip you have had. I know that you will be able to accomplish anything you set out to do. I am also glad you found someone very special. That is a huge accomplishment in this day and age when the only people you seem to meet are selfish and stupid people. You have such a great family and circle of friends and now you can add one more amazing person to that. I have to admit that I am saddened that I will not have any good reading material on Suday afternoon to read. I always wish you the best of everything and I know your family will be happy to finally have you home.

    If you get married, I am guessing that a new puppy for a wedding present is out of the question :). Anyway happy trails and God’s speed home!

  3. Brian Ogilvie says:

    Hi Scott–I’ve really enjoyed following your travels–almost since the beginning. You’ve got a knack for conveying the highs and the lows of bicycle touring, and life more generally, and for taking gorgeous and insightful photos. Thanks for sharing it all with your readers! I hope you keep the site up so that future readers can follow along vicariously. You should think about writing a book about your trip, too, now that it’s over and you’ve got a narrative arc–something like Barbara Savage’s Miles from Nowhere, which first interested me in bike touring.

    Best of luck in your more sedentary future!

  4. Aunt Leta says:

    My original intention was to write something sugar & sappy. However, I decided to just put something short. Awesome! Incredible! Magnificant! Unbelievable! Proud! Adventurous! Scott, may this new journey in your life you are about to begin be the best ever. Be proud of who you are, what you have become, what you have seen, and the new perspective you have of life. We love you. Aunt Leta & Uncle Paul

  5. Sunsetheel says:

    Congratulations on a successful journey!!! You had an adventure of a lifetime and at the end of the journey a new lifetime journey to begin. Best wishes for your future happinsss!! I wish you would keep on giving us a peek at your adventure but all things come to an end. I have really enjoyed all of your pictures, the insights and the glimpses into the life you have shared with others along the way.

  6. JAnn says:

    Hi Scott,
    You sound happy with your decision and from reading your blog, for close to 3 years, I expect you thought out all angles methodically. As your Aunt Lynn said, “What will your followers do now?” I guess we will have to find someone else to live through vicariously. Do you have any recommendations for someone who takes great photos and writes very well in an entertaining and informative way? It won’t be easy to find an adequate substitute. As a couple of people suggested, it would be great if you give us an occasional update.
    Thanks for sharing your journey. You inspired me to ride my first century. I’m blaming you for the carpal tunnel I developed when I first found your blog. I had many months to scroll though and couldn’t pace myself in a manner to avoid injury. Actually, my lack of self control really isn’t your fault, but you can tell a publisher that your readers wouldn’t be able to put a book down.
    Wishing you much happiness in your future!
    JP

  7. Stephanie Mullin says:

    Scott.
    I am so very lucky and proud to say you are my big brother. Over the last 3 years I have told countless people, “Check out powercycle! that’s my brother!” Your pictures have been amazing, I can’t imagine what it must have been like to really have been there. It has been an absolute pleasure to follow you on your journey! we will come see you in Florida as soon as we can!!

    Love,
    your sister Stephanie

  8. Mark says:

    You dont know me but I’ve been following you for just over a year. I stumbled upon your site one day while researching my own trip, from that day on your web site was my daily read. I remember the day I finally caught up to your current posts (I went back and started reading from the beginning and caught up with you in Argentina). Anyway, thank you for making your adventure available for all, it was inspiring and eye opening. Best of luck to you, I hope you convince your new significant other to start touring and I get to read about your adventures again.

  9. Anita says:

    Scott, what a trip this has been and what wonderful possibilies ahead with your beautiful young lady! I have so enjoyed all your writing and photos – who knew how much of the world I would get to see after a brief campground meeting. You really were my inspiration to get the truck camper and quit hauling that 5th wheel all over the country!! I think I even learned from you that I could go without a shower for several days while dry camping – have done a lot of that here in Alaska. :) I wish you the very best and I hope you will put me on a list to bring me up to date once in awhile! Or just keep on blogging! Wishing you all the best, Anita

  10. Ronald says:

    Hi Scott,

    We met briefly in Tumbaco, since then I’ve been reading your adventures on this blog. Although Esther and I returned home a year ago, you kept providing our daily doses of travel drug. I really enjoyed the open descriptions of whatever was on your mind.
    As a I have experienced over the years a long bicycle tour never really ends, it just gets temporally suspended, coming back alive again after 5 or maybe 10 years. So I’m pretty sure that you will end up on the road once more. And hopefully our paths will cross once again. So until then, best of luck and enjoy the new life you have waiting for you.

    Regards, Ronald

  11. Bernita Mannes says:

    I have so enjoyed your travels…and have always felt like I was riding along with you! Thanks for sharing the journey. And now another beautiful adventure awaits you! I hope you find a way to update your readers. Your writing and photography have been inspiring. And I’m so happy you have found a companion for the future. God bless!

  12. Lewis says:

    Hi Scott, I have followed your travels over the past few years with fascination for where your journey will take you next. I have to say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading each update and looking at your magnificent photography, lending me an insight into the very different corners of the world! You have definitely inspired me to do more cycle touring. Thanks for keeping the blog updated for all those years and good luck with the next stage of your life’s journey!

    Regards,
    Lewis

  13. Congratulations, Scott! I hope you get tapped to give a TED talk or two. :) I’m sure you have a lot of wisdom to share.

  14. Paulo says:

    It will be good to have you back buddy..

    Skipper can’t wait to get on your lap.. :)

  15. Eric says:

    Have very much enjoyed following your blog. Always checked it in the morning looking forward to updates. They will be missed.

    Drop me a line when you make it to Atlanta and have some time to spare. Would love to hear about your travels first hand.
    Eric

  16. A Guy says:

    Scott,

    I met you in 2009 along the California coastline and have followed you ever since. Reading about your journey has been an inspiration to me. I have mentioned you to many friends, saying, “Yea, I met this guy who is biking around the world…”

    Congratulations on ending your trip. Don’t let this be the adventure of your lifetime, but rather, make sure that the entirety of your life is an adventure.

  17. Mark says:

    I want to chime in with a thank you as well. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for quite some time. Best wishes with your future plans and please keep us updated.

  18. karin and marten says:

    How is live back in Florida?

  19. tom says:

    Scott,
    Congratulations on a fantastic trip. I found your site the first week you started and followed you on and off the entire way. You helped motivate me to take 2 months off and ride across the country last year. I admire what you did. The blog was well done and the pictures were fantastic. If you get to the north florida area or plan to do any presentations on your trip please send me an e-mail.

  20. Norma and Ray Lethem says:

    Scott, we met you are South Beach and took you for food, water and beer. You tried to pay us for the beer and we told you to pay it forward. We have enjoyed watching over your shoulder as you traveled the world. I am extremely glad that you are home and safe. Stay safe and happy, we are sure you will make a big difference in the world with your vast, up close and personal experiences.

    Our Best,
    Ray and Norma

  21. karin and marten says:

    scott

    It is a friday night, we miss the riding and we are checking everybody’s blog to enjoy all the pictures, the stories and the new updates. We enjoyed your pictures, your stories, but what a shame no new updates.
    Love karin and marten

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